House to home: Update your bathroom in style – Entertainment & Life –

By Debbie Travis

If you are planning a bathroom renovation, or even a quick facelift, it’s essential to keep in mind the importance of practicality, as this is primarily a utilitarian space. You will be looking for elements that are safe, hard-wearing and easy to clean and sanitize. These are givens.

But there are other considerations. For a room that gets constant use, the bathroom deserves to be treated to a decorative touch that gives you a lift. We require various solutions to make the space fit our personalities. Will a burst of color get you motivated in the morning? Do you want soothing shades to ease you into the day? Would you like a feature that makes you smile? I have utilized different strategies to add specific character to my bathrooms. For my small master bath I splurged on a bathtub from Victoria + Albert and adhered a glamorous blowup of Sophia Loren behind the bathtub. Elsewhere I’ve splurged on Moroccan floor tiles and upgraded taps and faucets, and they were all brilliant solutions. Here are some ideas that you can think about and customize to fit your style.

Fantasy Floors

Decorative tiles are well suited to a bathroom floor. Although custom designs are expensive, covering the limited floor space makes it possible to create a captivating look. An all-white bathroom is transformed into a watery paradise with vibrant blue and white hand-painted Moroccan tiles underfoot. You can choose to place a few special tiles in a design in front of the sink, in the middle or as a border, and fill in the rest of the floor with plain tiles. Varying tile sizes is also effective.

A painted floor will guarantee a custom look. Use stencils to apply fish, geckos, seaweed, frogs and other marine motifs over a pale blue or sandy basecoat. This is fun for a family bathroom.

Captivating Ceilings

Don’t overlook the power of a decorative ceiling treatment. It can be as simple as continuing the wall color overhead. Or experiment with a rose-painted ceiling. The walls can be white, and the rosy hue will radiate around the room. A bonus — pink gives us a healthy glow; you’ll notice this in the mirror. A bathroom ceiling is generally small, so if you have a paint treatment you are anxious to try out, this is a good place to start. Perhaps a cloudy sky or stenciled tiles? Granted, working on a ceiling can be awkward, but take lots of breaks, and you will be pleased with the results the next time you relax in the bath.

Glam Colors

High style is easy to achieve with the right combination of colors. Black and white are timeless. Add silver accents and a passionate plum paint, and you’ve got a luxe look that will transport you day or night. Look for a Deco mirror and make it sizable. Crystal sconces would work here too. Towels and bathmats will carry any theme you want.

Continue the black-and-white theme by choosing black cabinetry, stunning against the white bathroom fixtures. For more dazzle, cover the black paint with a matte silver glaze. This is a classic fix for a frame around the bathroom mirror or picture frames. On a blank wall, line up two or three pictures that capture a bygone glamorous style. Or do as I did, and go big.


Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to [email protected] Follow Debbie at, and





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